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‘Lock It Down’: Rolle Quits After Pm ‘Shut’ Ministry And Ordered In Auditors

Sea Breeze MP Lanisha Rolle.

Sea Breeze MP Lanisha Rolle.

MINISTER’S TURBULENT TIME ON FRONT LINE COMES TO AN END

LANISHA Rolle’s departure from the Cabinet is the latest sore point in a turbulent public career that began when Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis – then the leader of the opposition – chose her to be a senator for the Free National Movement in 2015.

Since then, she has endured several controversies.

In 2016, she was forced to resign as senator after The Tribune published details of a secret recording between her and then political FNM hopeful, Lincoln Bain.

During the recording, she was heard discussing the political future of several party members and was especially critical of then FNM MP Loretta Butler-Turner, who was Dr Minnis’ rival. Earlier that year, she criticised Mrs Butler-Turner in a radio interview.

In 2017, she sparked public outrage when she told reporters that marital rape is a “private” issue.

And in 2019, Dr Minnis forced her to reimburse the government $580.42 for pins bearing her image – the pins were distributed to young people participating in a Youth in Parliament event.

In addition to the public controversies, Mrs Rolle proved unpopular in the ministries within which she worked – the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and, previously, the Ministry of Social Services.

In fact, the departure of several high-ranking officials in the ministries have been privately linked to her, including that of at least one previous permanent secretary and deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Tavarrie Smith, the head of Project Youth Justice, an organisation that defends children and youth, said yesterday that the Minnis administration must now rebuild trust with youth and sports organisations.

“Iram Lewis (the new minister) will be challenged to bring many stakeholders back to the table who have walked away over the years,” he said.

“Unlike other ministries, Youth, Sports and Culture’s success depends largely on external bodies who work alongside the ministry in order to fulfil its mandate, whether they are youth organisations, sporting associations and the artisan communities.

“Many of these persons have refused to engage under Lanisha’s leadership and Lewis’ first agenda item ought to be to reach out to them. MYSC cannot function without its alienated stakeholders,” he said.

While in opposition, Mrs Rolle was said to be a fervent supporter of Dr Minnis.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Senior Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis ordered a lockdown of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture just days before an internal audit he requested uncovered findings that led to the resignation of Sea Breeze MP Lanisha Rolle, The Tribune can confirm.

Dr Minnis accepted Mrs Rolle’s resignation from her ministerial post yesterday, with a statement from Cabinet Office noting that “certain matters have been brought to” his attention and are currently under investigation.

The Tribune understands that when ministry officials and the board of the National Sports Authority became concerned that established processes and procedures were allegedly not being followed at their agencies, they took their concerns to Dr Minnis on Saturday, February 13.

Dr Minnis is said to have then immediately requested a “lockdown” of the ministry, ordering that no cheques or contracts be issued.

The following day, Sunday, February 14, he asked Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson to launch an audit into the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and to report its findings within at most four days, this newspaper understands.

Dr Minnis received the report from the ministry’s internal audit department on Thursday, February 18.

The Office of the Auditor General is now auditing the National Sports Authority. Its focus intersects with the inner workings of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.

Iram Lewis, previously the minister of state for disaster preparedness, has been appointed the new minister of youth, sports and culture.

Although Mrs Rolle intends to remain the representative of Sea Breeze until the end of this term, sources yesterday said it is unlikely she will receive the Free National Movement’s nomination for the next general election.

Mrs Rolle was previously the only woman in Dr Minnis’ Cabinet.

She is the fourth minister to resign this term, joining Brent Symonette, Dr Duane Sands and Peter Turnquest. She informed Governor General Cornelius Smith of her resignation in a letter dated February 23.

Mrs Rolle did not answer calls seeking comment yesterday.

photo

LANISHA Rolle’s father Derek Thompson speaking to reporters outside of Cabinet. Photo: Leandra Rolle/Tribune Staff

However, her father, Derek Thompson, stood outside the Churchill Building yesterday morning and verbally attacked Dr Minnis while a Cabinet meeting was held inside.

“I came here today because I know my daughter, she is the one who helped the honourable Hubert Minnis to win,” he said. “We made sure our prime minister is a prime minister. We sacrificed for our prime minister. We want to know from Bain and Grants Town and all over, honourable prime minister, where is your heart, where is your respect for people who helped you?

“You ain’t’ supposed to let anybody tell you to turn against a helper.”

He also claimed his daughter was told she would not be nominated to run in the next election.

“If y’all want this country turn independent, it will turn independent because you have turned your back on people who have helped you,” he said.

He added: “Hubert Ingraham taught you better than this.”

Comments

moncurcool 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I don't class Minnis as a leader and have my critiques of him. At least I can give him credit of taking action when a discrepancy was brought to his attention. Way better than what Davis or Mitchell would do.

I am not saying that Rolle has done anything wrong as the facts are not out and I will not speculate. But at least he investigated.

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BahamasForBahamians 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Minnis is no better than Christie, Ingraham, Pindling or Davis.

Hubert Minnis oversaw a criminal act (forgery) on national TV during the Oban signing.

Has allowed Ministers to advance policy to benefit their own interests (criminal) in D'Aguilar and Peter Turnquest..

Awarded contracts to a sitting Cabinet minister..

all of which call for resignations...

This one act - after the fact - does not make Minnis any better than any other corrupt Bahamian leader.

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licks2 1 month, 2 weeks ago

If you are going to level major accusations at anybody. . .please get ya facts accurate!! Talking "jack daniel" helps nobody!! YA KNOW WHY HE DID NOT RESIGNED. . .because your wild accusations are only in your head. . .NOBODY got time for foolish talking!! Only one thing I ger explain to you. . .the Obin issue is common practice in them kind of dealings. . .in government, collages, universities. . .private deals where they want public awareness of the deals!! Ok, like when peoples them graduate from collages. . .them rolled-up certificates given when ya walk across the stage usually are not the certificates. . .they are normally rolled-up papers. . .symbolic of student completion!! The real certificates may come up to about six months after the graduation!! That kind of ceremony happens plenty times all over the place. . .so how come it is such a big deal when Doc did it with Obin? Ya see what I am talking about. . .looking for the least thing to condemn a person may only serve to show how desperate you are to "damage" another!!

This is a serious time (silly season) go right and reasonable or go home!!

As for ya last statement. . .man ya really gat it too bad!! That statement "all "jam-up" and confusing!!

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 2 weeks ago

NOBODY forges someone else signature. Even if it's a fake ceremony. Unbelievable

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licks2 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Go in any government office in this country. . .under any government. . .PLP or FNM. . .you will see authorized "signers" signing on agreements where the primary stakeholder's name is printed. . .that document is legal and binding because the "signer" is signatory agent for the authorizing stakeholder. Ceremonies are not faked. . .they are real for sure. . .

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moncurcool 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Since when is awarding contracts to a sitting Cabinet Minister calls for resignation if the Cabinet Ministers has no part in the decision?

What policies were advance in the interest of Cabinet ministers?

While Minnis is not better than Ingrahm or Pindiling, he is running neck to neck with Christie, but way ahead of Davis.

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tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Here we see Minnis getting out ahead of a bad political story that he knew, because of those involved and the hard evidence available to them, was bound to become public knowledge.

It's all too obvious from the remarks of her father that Ms. Rolle did not receive a good upbringing. Rather than being concerned about his daughter having possibly been engaged in illegal activities, he's more concerned about why she is not being able get away with whatever she may have done. The father seems genuinely confused as to why some in Minnis's political circle and among his supporters get a free pass for their 'misdeeds' while others get thrown under the bus.

But little does Ms. Rolle's father know, Minnis will see to it this matter, whatever it may be, is covered up unless he considers it in his political interest to do otherwise. After all, Minnis usually 'protects' his perceived political friends while demonstrating time and time again that he is much more inclined to see one of his lowly plebes be charged and incarcerated for having breached of one of his lockdown or curfew orders. Minnis is certainly no proponent of equal justice for all under the law when it comes to his perceived political foes. lol

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John 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Today this country must distinguish the difference between political corruption and political culture. Not defending anyone but saying Peter is no worse than Brent. Crude oil,that is,that continues to increase in price despite consumption being at its lowest level in decades and there being no short supply. But yes, political culture may allow some people to get elected, get to become a member of the cabinet, fix he and he family businesses right up, then resign he post. Others trying to do the same thing but using a different route will be called dishonest, corrupt and accused of tiefin the people’s money. Does the Bahamian people accept all or reject all or accept some and reject some? During the last Commission of Inquiry, the bag man was quoted as saying ‘he come to collect for da chief.’ The chief was never specifically identified in that instance, but common sense dictates that the chief must hold the highest office, if not, the highest office. And since Hubert Minnis ran on the premis that corruption runs high in this nation and with the promise that he will use every effort to stamp it out, he must be seen as to not tolerate corruption w:or dishonesty in the least. And based on his own figures of 45%, he may stand to lose almost half his cabinet and elected MP’s if due deligence is done. And, of course, this must include persons who came from the side opposite, who were fired or resigned or forced to resign, but are now members of the Minnis’s cabinet. Justice must not only be done, but be seen to be done.

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tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

And Minnis and the FNM party apparatus he has tight control over rubber stamped and supported the candidacy of all of these incompetent and corrupt individuals who eventually became elected officials. Minnis proudly touted that he and his FNM party had found these same corrupt individuals to be fit and proper persons to hold elected office. Now what does that tell you about Minnis and the FNM party apparatus he so tightly controls? LOL

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John 1 month, 2 weeks ago

You sound rather dull and uninformed. Many of the most qualified candidates do not iffy for election. Simply because of the nature of politics where, if they really want you, they will drag you and your family and friends through the mud and the sewer. Secondly many qualified people do not have the time and energy front line politics demand. And many do not condone the freebies and give aways front line politics now demand in this here country.

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tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Are you saying our government is mainly devoid of qualified elected officials? OMG, no one ever told me about this! ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz LOL

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TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Does appear Talkie Show Host Comrade Juan is on the air doing his normal 24-hour backflip of now up on better angels high horse, lecturing all speak of mashing down the former minister.
From sounds it em's is Juan's only one seen all the evidence?
Seems the station's managers, expect better from their Talkies.
* Em can be better whilst up, on his
be likes Jesus high-horse** than this, yes? Could have been something to do with fact that Mr. Minnishas stopped takin' comrade Juan's telephone calls?

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The former Minister of YS&C must tell The People what exactly happened in her Ministry ......... If she resigned as a Minister, it must be as a result of her portfolio and not her constituency ......... Sad situation if she was not going to be re-nominated .......... But, something about this is uneasy & smells like a rat

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TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

@ Comrade Sheeprunner, Lanisha's ministerial accountability ended the moment she was relieved of her responsibility to answer to the cabinet. That sole responsibility now rests squarely on the shoulders of Mr. Minnis...but I do understand that the AG, after being directed by OPM, did have words with the then still minister sister?
Amasing that more within Redcoats party, held a deeper dislike for the former homegrown sister minister than there was amongst the PLP's.
Didn't Mr. Minnis, early on not say that he emself wouldn't be taking a ministerial portfolio so that he'd be free to be traveling from ministry to oversee that each his ministers were all were performing on the above-board?

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moncurcool 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Why must she tell anything? Why are we assuming that she resigned because something is happening in her Ministry? We run ahead and make all sorts of assumptions without the facts.

Maybe she resigned for personal reasons? Maybe family reasons? Who knows? But we should allow silly season to cause us not to use facts to make decisions

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TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

@Moncurcool, wanna partner up with me once we know who is actually the rightful owner of the self-portrait Lanisha medals. The plan is to buy up all the PopoulacesPurse's acquired inventory of Lanisha medals, and hold on to releasing them until whoever becomes the RedShirts individual up in OPM that surfaces to gets rungs the general election bell...then we market the medals as keepsake souvenirs be forever reminder of what the 35 House-elected RedShirts were really about from day one on the other side May 10, 2017. You in?

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licks2 1 month, 2 weeks ago

What a sad bunch of commentaries around here. . .what a crying shame that the world has to "see" this!

But I have being saying for awhile on this site that Doc tends to "go deff" as his ministers "go rogue" all over the place. . .his propensity to "do nuttin" after plenty complaints from the public will get him in some hot water!!

Minister Rolle was "actin the azz" long time and Doc "een do nuttin"!! She refused to follow the rules, rowing with her people and doing "farley" all over the department. . .and Doc played "like heen see nuttin".

The next place where he is likely to get "jook-up" again is at the department of education. . .he went "deaf, blind and dumb" with the childish administration over there!! At this point I can't blame anybody except Doc. . .he is the Prime Minister after all!!

So speak truth to power. . .not talk "farley" all over the place!! Ya can't correct anything like that. . .swing voters een going fer ya nonsense. . .swing voters MAKE GOVERNMENTS NOT PARTY BASES!!

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moncurcool 1 month, 2 weeks ago

And now he does something and you still complaining? Jeez man. So what you want?

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licks2 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Don't get me wrong nah. . .he ger have plenty to "clean-up" before election. . .but I still think at least he did the right thing in Rolle's case. Now he needs to deal with that mess at MOE!!

Don't feel like I "mashin-up Doc". . .it is how I see it! On the other hand. . .DAVIS HAS NEVER CALLED OUT ANYBODY IN HIS PARTY FOR DOING ANY WRONG!!! I don't know if he will be different in future as PM. . .but in the past he never "scold" any PLP for anything. . .no matter what they did!! Heck. . .heen answer for BAMSI yet!!

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sheeprunner12 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Democracy is messy ......... transparency calls for dirt becoming public and officials being fired.

The PLP paints a different picture of covering up dirt and crying crocodile tears when they are exposed

Minnis is willing to do the right thing .......... at least, a bit more than the PLP "circle the wagons" approach to protecting their own.

I am disappointed that the 242 media is not commending Minnis for trying to clean house (four Ministers), rather than cover up (like the PLP). Christie didnot fire ONE Minister, despite the blatant allegations of malfeasance and bad/bloated deals between 2012-2017.

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TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

@Sheeprunner12, how was it the truth when Mr. Minnis, early into his mandate, stepped forward to make such a big deal about why he as PM, wouldn't hold a ministerial portfolio, so as to free up his time be spending time traveling around to the colony's ministries, and crown corporations, to keep emself in the know as to what be's going on so as not be caught off guard in the dark about his ministers?
Fast forward to February 24, 2021, and there's hardly a ministry that is not run and controlled, directly out and from the office of the prime minister?
You do understand, this is not just stuff being made up, yes?

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licks2 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Nor did Davis called out any either!! That will be one mess with Davis in charge of that party. . .

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FreeUs242 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Both parties are toxic and fruads 👍

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John 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Minnis is fighting a tough and fierce and courageous battle. A few fallen or injured soldiers does not mean defeat. Far from it.

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licks2 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I agree. . .the PLP have their own ghost to fight. . .their leader is hard to "pretty-up". . .their party is "a bridge to far" politically for most swing voters!! This will be a "thinking" people election. . .both FNM and PLP base will vote for them no matter "what ship comes in". . .neither will have enough to win the government except the swing voter supports their agenda. . .AFTER THINKING THROUGH THEIR PLATFORM!!

This may be the PLP "arrow through the heel" moment. . .their leader can become our PM. . .they need to give us a leader who the swing voter can "make" our PM!!!

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BONEFISH 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Correction, Marlon Johnson is the acting financial secretary. A next incompetent crony.

Lanisha Rolle should never been appointed a minister. In both ministries she served in, there were complaints about her her behaviour. She was told by to resign.

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Why did it take Dr Minnis 4 years to find out something was wrong with this minister?

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licks2 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I suggest that it did not take him four years. . .that pot "boiled" over and he cannot "keep the soup" inside the pot". . .all the "okra and dry conch" boiling all over the stove them!! It seem to be his "blind spot" to decline to listen when people complain about "his folks". . .the pot seem to have to "boil over" first before he acts!! By then it seem to be messy. . .

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tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

His wife probably would like to know the answer to that question too.

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TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Comrade Sister Lanisha's 1,383 days, rollercoaster ride puts a lie to the RedShirts promise of "WOMAN POWER" it's much too good to have wasted on Lanisha!

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